A Haunting On Staten Island

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Editor:

I read Jim Keyworth's article on the Payson haunting with interest.

When I was a little girl, we stayed with my mom's sister for a few months in a two-story house on Staten Island, New York. This type of home had a basement cellar, which you could enter from the front and emerge into the back yard. My cousins would run back and forth through the cellar chasing and playingith onenother.

In the dead heat of summer, the cellar was unnaturally cold, almost freezing, so I would never travel through it; I found it creepy.

At night, I would wake up and "see" a dark figure standing in the doorway between my bedroom and my cousins'. I was only 4 years old. The figure seemed to be dressed like a woman, but if felt like a man. It had a menacing air, as if it wanted to "get" me, but it couldn't or wouldn't seem to cross into my room.

We moved after several months into our own place.

Years later, I ran into a woman who had lived above us at the haunted place I described. She had been a teenager at the time, and I told her I didn't like ithen we had livedownstairs from her family.

"I don't blame you," she said. "Just before your aunt moved in there, the family before had been murdered by one of the sons, he had real problems, and used to dress in women's clothing. He buried his family members in the cellar under the house."

I was shocked and yet not surprised, given my own "take" of the scene at that time, which was about 1954.

Staten Island is very haunted. The Dutch settled it in the 1500s. You have your Van Duzers, Stuyvesants and Vanderbilts, and many times I have come across old Dutch homes along the shoreline, near old graveyards, whose residents had lived early in the century.

Perhaps you could pass the info along to your ghost hunters, the Liles, they can e-mail me with any questions, I know many "hot" spots there.

Doris Patton, Phoenix

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